@PumpUpThaVolume: Episode009 - Old Mythologies
Previous: Episode008 - Bodies of Water
Pump Up Tha Volume: Episode009 - Old Mythologies
[Via @TheUdog - NB: Once again this week we pay our respects to one of the icons of yesteryear. Whilst it is highly insensitive and inappropriate to speculate about the nature of their deaths (as we may have been quick to do with Houston), it is significant to note that a certain old guard is passing. Robin Gibb, along with his brothers, have left a legacy for us to learn from and appreciate. And the important thing to remember is that whether conspiracy or otherwise - death is a natural part of life. So the challenge we now face is to stand up and not let the legacy of the old guard die with MCA, Summers, Brown or Gibbs - but to resist the musical commodity pumped out by the 'useful idiots (insert names here)' and relish the true nature of the intimate and deeply personal artistic expression that we have been lucky enough to experience in our lives. Something our children will resist whole-heartedly when we play them the Bee Gees for the first time. On that note, we have an incredibly eclectic show lined up, so sit back, relax and enjoy!]
John Mark Nelson "What Did I Find?"
Deep in a sleep, I awake from the start, is the opening lyrics to this eclectic song that comes from the debut album that wasn't recorded in a cabin in Wisconsin woods, nor is it a response to a quarter life crises, as Nelson is but an 18 year old high school senior. With intriguing chord harmonics from a gently soothing guitar, the folk song is reminiscent of Lost in the Trees whom we played last week and fits into the canon alongside Mumford and Sons quite nicely. Ambitious yet unassuming a lot like the songwriter, this track conveys a sense of world-weariness that begging for the retreat of nature, yet at the same time remains life affirming and unusually sincere, making the comparisons to Bon Iver apt. The debut full-length album, recorded in his basement, is titled 'Still Here' and is being released independently.
Cold Specks "Winter Solstice"
Al Spx, a Canadian singer songwriter is Cold Specks. Signed to the Arts & Craft label, a familiar one to this podcast, the latest record is 'I Predict a graceful Expulsion.' Which was out this week on the 21st of May. "Winter Solstice" invokes the quirky, dark, mysterious and ultimately graceful mood that Cold Specks has quickly developed a reputation for. The album features arrangements from PJ Harvey and Rob Ellis. The film clip deals with the maturation process Spx went through, choosing to leave the life of her childhood behind. You can follow her on Twitter: @Coldspecks
Here We Go Magic "Make Up Your Mind"
Secretly Canadian? At least when it comes to this 5 piece's choice of label. From Brooklyn, New York, it may be a stereotype, but I still expected nothing less than attitude from this band, and they delivered with a broad palette mixed with the unusual use of electronica to switch from verse to chorus. The album is 'A Different Ship', the song is "Make Up Your Mind" and the story is: They picked up John Waters who just happened to be hitchhiking. Yes, that John Waters - the midnight movie auteur, famous for his film 'Pink Flamingos'. See the photos for yourself!
Bad Veins "Dancing on TV"
From Brooklyn to Cincinnati, and we hear the voice of Bad Veins lead singer Benjamin Davies taking us back to the late 80s with Joy Division/Morrissey-type lyrics and arrangement. Bad Veins may be and independent band but they are no stranger to success, being the inaugural winners of the Target Music Maker Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. Really it is Albert's Music who sums up this band the best: "Bad Veins are a rarity in today's musical landscape: An act who didn't set out to become critical darlings or the next 'buzz' band, but managed to achieve both after only playing a handful of shows." The song is "Dancing on TV", the album is 'The Mess We've Made' and the twitter is @badveins
Young Man "Fate"
Colin Caulfield, a lot like his fictional brother is Holden, is a hard man to pin down - let alone his band Young Man. The best I could do was a little Russian language site 'Russian Adults' which made me very suspicious at first, but they tell us that this group is a Chicago based band signed to FrenchKiss. The Renglish is quite amusing, but they suggest that it's the genius of The Antlers, Local Natives, the Dodos et al that might make FrenchKiss a recognizable name. The song is "Fate", it comes from their sophomore album 'Vol. 1' (I guess they come from the George Lucas School of Chronology) and the film clip was directed by Jordan Bahat.
Campo "Tu Lugar"
Let's travel abroad now, after Brooklyn, Cincinnati and Chicago - We head to Uruguay where we meet musician Jaun Campodonico, who has previously worked as a producer, working with the likes of Jorge Drexler. The debut solo album is under his psudenonym 'Campo', which means a field in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. According to Campo Music, the style can best be described as subtropical, fueled with a hint of British indie pop, electro, rock and tango! The song is "Tu Lugar", the album is 'Campo' and he is joined by several of his Bajofondo band mates in the effort.
Daughn Gibson "In the Beginning"
ALL HELL! The catchiest, most infectious release for the label White Denim (which is quite a striking look if you can pull it off, especially if you go jeans and jacket!) From a former truck driver who listened to a lot of country music, this album pays some homage to that lifestyle. A self-satisfied emptiness that one can comfortably experience in the privacy of an open road, whilst mixing in samples from country music, electronic tone and of course, his droll baritone voice. Perhaps it's best summed up by the Guardian who suggest: "think Johnny cash meets James Blake." The song is "In The Beginning", the album 'All Hell' and you can keep up with Gibson on his tumblr.
Hot Chip "Night and Day"
The year was 2008, the mission was to party one last time before we faced the last leg of 2nd year university and the bar was, actually the bar really isn't that important to this story. What is important is that there was a new 'style' out and Hot Chip exemplified the new epoch of musical composition. Well perhaps I was late to this scene, Hot Chip have been kicking butt and taking names since the start of the century. Nonetheless they have a new record out, it's called 'In Our Heads' and certainly their sonic atmosphere lingers in my head both during the day and especially at night. A bit of a coup for us, as we don't get to play too many EMI records! You can follow hot chip on twitter, or go 'old school' and hit up www.hotchip.co.uk
Sara Watkins "You and Me"
There is something genuine and sweet about Sara Watkins, like when one of your mom's younger friends holds your hand as you cross the road, catching you off guard in the moment. There is also a certain depth to Watkins that clearly comes from an intimate moment of her life and we are blessed to be able to share in that. Covering Tom Waits elsewhere on the album is a pretty good move in my opinion, but teaming up with Jackson Browne is unambiguously a good move; Browne sings backup on this track. But of course, Sara is no novice, having been the fiddler for Nickel Creek since 1989! The album, 'Sun Midnight Sun', is out on Nonesuch Records.
WAZU "Happy Endings"
Not a lot of media exposure to date, so I am going off my own interpretations on this one. But what I do know is that the 'wacky' name doesn't reference the non-commercial educational public radio station, rather it is a combination of Matt (WA) and Riz (ZU). They have managed to produce an experience with this track, blending the traditional with the electronic to produce a post modern impression of living poetry. The album was released in January, and I haven't been able to locate the label info, but here's hoping that this band breaks through, because we need more of this in our lives!
The Barr Brothers "Old Mythologies"
According to Clint Alwahab, The Barr Brothers is a name you'll want to remember, something that won't be too difficult after listening to their self-titled debut album. Brad Barr and Andrew Barr, are joined by Sarah Page, Andres Vial. A long way from boxing in their basement, the brothers have spend a lot of time on the road going from coast to coast playing music. A different approach to WAZU, but a similar spirit of expression, I guess this spirit can best be summed up by the fact the brothers learnt to play their instruments on cardboard replicas. Unless of course this is one of the old mythologies that the song speaks of, I leave that to the philosophers to ponder. The Album has been appropriately (given song choice) described as 'eponymous,' the self-titled LP is their debut, the track is "Old Mythologies" and you can get it on Amazon or iTunes, thanks to Secret City Records. (don't let them know the secret's out!)
Neil Finn and Pajama Club "She Belongs to Me"
From the Guardian: "Once their children had left home, Crowded House songwriter Neil Finn and his wife found themselves with too much time on their hands – and thus Pajama Club was born… Finn describes Pajama Club as a 'project begun in a spirit of abandon', and found himself bewitched by the fruit of their labours. Aided by their friend, songwriter and producer Sean Donnelly (and, on some tracks, by a visiting Johnny Marr), the couple began building the skeletal instrumentals into songs, a process that proved revelatory for Finn." "She Belongs to Me" comes from the self-titled debut album.
PS I Love You "Don't Go"
The sophomore album from PS I Love You, despite a number of EP releases, is called 'Death Dreams'. Perhaps an expression of the death drive that Freud once suggested we have? Either way Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson bring back the art of the jam on this track. Originating from Kingston, Ontario they can be described as playing indie rock or garage rock, and this is evident from the first bar. Their debut 'Meet Me at the Muster Station', reached the no. 4 spot on Exclaims Top pop and rock albums of 2010. Also on the album is a cover of Rush's "Subdivision", which the boys told Rolling Stone they were initially hesitant to record, but in the end it was a gateway drug to the music of Rush, and the relationship they have has gone from hate to love! PS I Love you are brought to us by Paper Bag records.
Walker Kong "Dallas Tokyo"
A bear, well not a bear, a drummer wearing a mask that resembles a bear is playing the drums! It is a theme that runs through the groups blog. And to some extent it epitomizes the eclectic mix of both music and artistry that we have had this week. Having been around since 1998, they have taken their time to develop into what Magic Marker Records suggest is the "band they wanted to be," but I think you'll agree it was worth the wait. The balance in this track between vocal harmony and bass/melody is something that has been well considered and polished. The last Walker Kong album was produced by you! Well, maybe not you specifically, but the band ran a KickStarter to raise a modest $1850 (they finished up with $2770). So the album is 'Phases of Light' featuring "Billie Jean" aka Michael Jackson reflected on the cover; the track is "Dallas Tokyo" and the joy is inherent.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros "I Don't Want To Pray"
Did you see the father and daughter duo do the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on Ellen? First it was a youtube sensation, then it became a media frenzy of "Ohhhh cute!" Well there was a band somewhere there in the background to all that, and they eventually made it home to record this track. This is perhaps a manifestation of the existential crisis that led to the formation of the band comprised of Ima Robot and Alex Ebert and the cultish 9 (that is a paraphrase!) There's clearly something to be said of an existential crisis, Camus, Spinoza, Kant, Decartes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The album is 'Here', "I Don't Want To Pray" is the third track, and it follows up from their debut 'Up From Below' - both of which were released on Vagrant records.
Cock & Swan "Raging Chisel"
Pretentious? Bizarre? Touching? Beautiful? These are perhaps some words that might come to mind when listening to Raging Chisel. Described by highwiredaze.com as "the chillout album of 2012" (of which I disagree, but appreciate the sentiment) 'Stash' is the new album from Cock & Swan. The intricate combination of exotic and unusual instruments is the alchemy of compositional genius, and something that is no easy feat ('Sgt. Pepper' anyone?) Ingrid Wissink of SSGMusic suggests that this album will induce beautiful dreams if listened to before bed, and this track is poised for a talented editor to cut a montage to it. Wissink suggests that Raging Chisel is exemplary of the kind of song that gets under your jaded skin, provoking flutters in that cynical, black heart. Whilst I am a little more optimistic about the condition of the human race, I think she sums up the cathartic aspects of this song well. Cock and Swan are on the Lost Tribe Sound Label and Stash is available now.
(Thanks to @TheUdog)
- 2012-05-25 22:06:43
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